Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snowed In!

I doubt it will ever happen again, but our Oregon weather has actually given the Minnesotans a run for their money! We've spent the better part of a week and a half "enjoying" the snow, and got quite an ice storm over the weekend as well.
(These trees are normally tall...and straight!)

Considering the fact that there are almost no plows, sanders, or deicers in the Willamette Valley, we found ourselves pretty paralyzed by this strange white fluff falling from the sky. I ended up in Salem mid-storm and found myself snowed in there for about four days. Thank goodness I was able to hole up at Tim & Jessie's house even though they were away. The code to their garage door has saved my bacon more than once. Thank you, Tim & Jess! Having very little to do, I documented my snow days and the antics of the Adams' kitties.

This was the car on day two. It doesn't look like we had much snow, but this was taken after freezing rain flattened everything with almost an inch of ice. Did you notice how poorly this car is parked? Facing the wrong direction, at a wacky angle, and completely blocking the driveway? Yeah...that was the best I could do. I'd had to abandon the car at the bottom of the hill the night before, so the fact that I'd been able to get it up to the house was a major victory. When I came slip-sliding up to the curb I called it "good 'nuf" and bailed out to head for higher ground.

Having grown up in Montana, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the snow thing, but this Northwest freezing rain is a whole new deal. There was about 3/4" of ice encasing my car. Nothing like having to chisel your way in...These two goofy cats were my company. They were really concerned about the weather. Really concerned. Like it might interfere with their napping.
So, the kitties and I adopted a life of leisure for a few days. We were really roughing it. We had a nice fire... ...and we laid around...
...and we watched the crazy weather come and go...
...and we blogged...


Finally, on Tuesday, there was enough of a lull in the weather that SoundGuy's sister and I were able to make a break for it! We slipped, slid, skidded, and scraped our way up to Portland on the worst freeway conditions I think I've ever seen (and it had actually improved from previous days - sheesh!)

Sadly, my flights home to Montana were canceled (as were almost all the flights in and out of our airport) so I'll be missing Christmas with my family. Thankfully SoundGuy's family took me in, and have begun to teach me their family traditions. (Along with telling me lots of stories about their son. I'm wracking up the ammunition here).

A peek out the window reveals that there is still about a foot of snow to deal with - and another storm on the way. Who knows what we'll resort to for amusement...stay tuned! As long as we can collect SoundGuy from the airport on Saturday we'll be good to go.

Hoping you're somewhere safe and warm! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oregon VS Minnesota - FIGHT

[Burntvedt covered in snow]

While Oregon shuts down with 3 inches of snow and fear of driving when its not raining I am stuck in 4-6 inches without a sled or a thing to do. Finals week is over. Papers are turned in and all I have to do is play with the neighbors dogs (thanks mike and naomi for letting me overstay my welcome this afternoon) and clean the apartment that I have not even yet managed to get dirty.

Nothing better than a nap on a snowy day with dad.

Hoping that regardless of the weather you are enjoying the advent season and winter wonderland that waits outside your door.

~soundguy

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We have a Winner!

Erin Schmerin will be receiving a Starbucks card in the mail! We always knew she was a winner, but now we have actual quantifiable proof. Thanks for playing =)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Negative 7


So while Oregon enjoy's a snow day (all accept my beautiful girlfriend), Minnesota is plowing along with a layer of ice under 4 inches of snow an -7 degree weather. Yes, when I left this morning, it was -7 and it has now gotten up to -4. How does one do it you might ask?




Layers.


~soundguy

I Jinxed It

Yes, as predicted EVERY school in the valley has declared a snow day. Except OSU. Good old OSU. Charging blindly on in the face of adversity, blah, blah, blah. This is what happens when your President is from Ohio. "Snow day? We don't need no stinkin' snow day!" I'm sure that's just how Dr. Ray said it, too.

Do you know who made it to the office today? Two of us. Me, and the other gal from Montana! I am in full righteous martyr mode this morning, laboring away while the rest of the world gets their precious snow day. So all y'all better get out there and enjoy it! And tell me how it was.

Sincerely,
Dutifully Disgruntled.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas All Over the Place!

It's officially Christmas in my corner of the world (despite regular Advent ramblings from SoundGuy...don't tell him I skipped ahead to Christmas already, okay?). I am proud to say that I haven't felt harried or stressed (yet!) and I'm really enjoying "the little things" that I associate with the holidays. So, here's a little photo-tour of holiday goodness 'Pres-style..."just for funs!"

Christmas cookies have been baked, carefully packed up, and shipped to my two favorite men - Pop and SoundGuy. I thought I'd better post a picture so they'll know what the box of broken bits and crumbs they've received was supposed to look like.
Holiday cards hit the mail yesterday! I usually make my own cards, but gave myself permission to do store-bought cards this year. Doesn't mean I love ya any less. ;) (Note the very cute Jingle Bells candle in the background - a gift from Erin Schmerin years ago. Now THAT girl is crafty!)
Because I live alone and never spend the actual holiday in my own home, I've skipped Christmas trees most years. I still decorate though, and decked out my big picture window.
I watched my favorite Christmas movie of all time. "The best things happen when you're dancing..." Maybe I can be Rosemary Clooney in my next life? That would be rad.
My stocking is hung from the bookshelf with care...it's the same stocking I've had my whole life. Considering my ravenous approach to Christmas mornings during my childhood, it's a testament to my mother's sewing that this thing held together. I love it - I smile every time I look at it.
Pop, careful to ensure that my stocking would be full, mailed me "Stocking in a Box!" The poor mail-carrier needed help to get it out of his bag. Note the fresh new Tide Pen and margarita salt. =)
My Christmas shopping is done, and gifts are wrapped! Actually, the wrapping is probably my favorite part. I need to find some little old folks who need their gifts wrapped so I can do more. It's so satisfying.
I've been re-reading my favorite Christmas stories from childhood. The one in the center was a gift in 1981!
In true holiday fashion, I cheated and opened a Christmas gift early. And was I ever glad that I did! Pop sent me my very own Cricket!!!! Like any mature adult, I jumped up and down when I opened it. And I might have shrieked, "it's a Cricket, it's a Cricket, it's a Cricket!!" into poor SoundGuy's ear (we were on the phone at the time). I'm sure my parents are proud to know what a graceful, even-tempered woman I've become.
And, finally, this morning my Christmas spirit got an additional boost with the arrival of "snow."
This is what we call "snow" here in the Willamette Valley. For a girl raised in the Rocky Mountains, this doesn't really qualify as the real thing but it's as good as we're gonna get! Those of you back home (and those faithful readers in Minnesota) will get a good laugh out of this. Due to this "severe winter storm" most of the Valley has shut itself down. Chains are required on the freeways around Portland, events are being cancelled right and left, and the news stations keep breaking in to the regular programs with urgent weather updates. I betcha money the schools close for "snow" days tomorrow. Tee hee!

And there it is: little bits of holiday goodness happening around my house. I hope you're finding plenty of joy in the season. Do you think I should go build a "snow" man? HA!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot...

I know, I know, I owe you a real post with pictures and something interesting to read. Yadda, yadda, yadda. This isn't going to be it (but I swear you'll have one by the end of the weekend). This is fully self-serving! I'm trying to come up with fun ideas for New Year's Eve and I'm having planner's block. The logical next step? Post a contest on our blog!

To play along, leave a comment with one of the following:
a) a brilliant suggestion for New Year's festivities in Portland
b) your own plans for NYE, whatever/wherever they may be
c) your funniest/most embarassing/favorite NYE memory

The winner will be randomly selected from all those posting a comment, and will be announced Sunday evening. There's a Starbucks card in it for the winner ;) mmmm.....Starbucks.....

And just to make this a little more fun, I'll start. Clearly I cannot yet respond to A or B, so you're gettin' C. I'm not sure if this counts as funny, favorite, or embarassing, but I clearly remember spending more than one NYE at the home of my Dad's friend, Jim. Jim was the weather guy on the local news and I always thought he was a bonafide celebrity (when you grow up in the Bitterroot Valley, the guy on the news in Missoula might as well be George Clooney). Because he was famous going to Jim's house was extra rad. Back in the day, Jim had been a radio DJ (see - famous) and he still had his collection of reel-to-reel tapes in the basement. And they were CATALOGUED. Oh, it was a beautiful thing. Can you guess where I spent my time? Like any awkward 6th-grader, I took it upon myself to badger all the adults for their song requests. I'd write them all down, then race down the stairs, use the CATALOGUE to locate the requested tapes, charge back up the stairs, and spend the next 17 minutes tediously threading them onto the player. Eventually I'd actually get the song to play and then repeat the whole process (after filing the used tapes back in their appointed slots, of course). And I thought it was the best thing in the world.

So, as you can see, I've set the bar for "awesome NYE experiences" pretty low. Can you see why I need your help?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Little Churches, Apartments and Snow

Update from MN

I am finishing up a Worship Class this semester where we approach and analyze different aspects of Christian Worship. For the final project, our professors decided we should do a retreat and put together three of the (arguably) most important services in the church; Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.

They went in search of a historic place to hold these services and found this historic Church in the middle of nowhere MN. (Ok, it's a little place called Scandia, MN)
As you can see the Sanctuary is no bigger than a little old prairie school house. The space is wonderfully intimate and in the Summer Time this would have been awesome! But as you can see, there is about 3 inches of snow on the ground and the temp was 14 in the daytime and as the sunset, it dropped to about 6.
Here is the alter and pulpit in the little church.

The sunset was quite spectacular though and lingered for a good 30 minutes.

At the very least I was able to return home to my new apartment which is slowly coming together. I don't think I will get to really settled it before Christmas but for now it has had the affect I wanted. I am thanking the Lord once again for my own bathroom and a decent space to actually sit and read.


Note the $4.99 Pink Arm Chair from Goodwill, the Orange coffee table from my pastor and his wife (thank you!) all clashing with the very nice and new Target Desk on the right.
And the creme de la creme is the brand new Hemnes IKEA bed which is awesome!

If you have been one of the many praying for snow. Please stop. I am not really ready for my first snow storm in MN. Note the snow outside the window in the living room shot. I have a feeling that the people in other places are just making it snow more here. We already have a nice couple inches and I am enjoying actually having a White Christmas. I don't want to see what it likes when a storm rolls through. Sigh. The Farmers Almanac isn't on my side though, people say it's gonna be a snowy winter in MN.

Here's to spending New Years where it's in double digits.

~soundguy

Monday, December 1, 2008

1997

2008

Meeting up with old friends reminds us how far we have come and how important relationships really are. It makes the little frustrations we deal with day in and day out disappear and shows us that there really is an overarching theme that pervades our lives. Thinking how far my friends have come and seeing them doing amazing things with their lives really makes me proud to have been a little part of it.

Viele liebe grüße an Euch beide und ich hoffe daß wir uns gleich weider treffen kann. Tschüs!

~soundguy